Fishing is a type of activity in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Fishing equipment is available, though cannot be used, meaning fish can only be caught bare-handed. This usually involves wading or swimming into a body of water, but fish can also sometimes be caught from the shoreline. Alternatively, Unrelenting Force can be used to launch the fish out of the water.
Slaughterfish also inhabit many waterways, but unlike other species of fish, they must be killed before they can be harvested. They provide slaughterfish scales, another Alchemy ingredient. Slaughterfish eggs can also be found in and around many bodies of water, and can also be used in Alchemy.
A good way to spot the location of fish without diving is to sit on the shoreline and watch for orange dartwings and blue dartwings hovering over the water. The locations they hover over are where fish are present under the surface.
An excellent spot to find a mixture of all the fish listed here is outside of Riften. From the front entrance, outside, follow the walls around past the stables and keep circling until you hit the lake. The commonality of the fish seems to change over time, but if you are specifically seeking out only salmon, you are better off looking in the docks in front of Solitude. You can also kill salmon by shooting them with your bow.
Using the Unrelenting Force shout on fish in the water kills them, causing them to float to the surface making them easier to catch. Another way of catching fish is to shoot them with a bow. This is a lot harder than shouting or grabbing them from the water but a lot more fun. The perks eagle eye and steady hand make this a lot easier.
In Hearthfire, a fish hatchery can be built on the grounds of Windstad Manor if the property is purchased. Each of the fish species listed above can then be bred by placing a single fish (or egg for slaughterfish) into the hatchery, allowing easy harvesting of large numbers of fish.
Other aquatic and amphibious species found in Skyrim include:
- Argonians, a playable sentient race and a racial minority within Skyrim, with a fairly large population in Windhelm.
- Clams, which can be found by diving to river- and lake-beds.
- Horkers, which inhabit coastal areas and swamplands (i.e., saltwater rather than freshwater), and, like Slaughterfish, must be killed before harvesting.
- Mudcrabs, which can be found in and around many bodies of water and must also be killed before harvesting.
- Nordic Barnacles, which can be found on shorelines, river- and lake-beds, and on the hulls of ships.
- It should be noted that while the Dragonborn cannot use fishing rods, other characters, such as fishermen and hunters, can be seen using them.